The Republican plot to devour retirees’ nest eggs…AKA Balanced Billing

Given that all the soon-to-be president said on the campaign trail it is hard for me to determine just what he is for or against.  He has nominated a backer of the “balanced billing” as head of the DHH so I assume he is in favor of putting a major chuck of healthcare expenses on the backs of us seniors.  Here is a story about that:

Perhaps the most monstrous thing about the American medical system — and the bar for that title is high indeed — is predatory billing.

A great many medical providers adjust their prices based on how defenseless the patient is, and bleed the weakest ones for every last red cent, often with preposterously inflated charges for things like aspirin and bandages. A 2015 study looked at the worst price gougers in the country and found 50 hospitals that charged uninsured people roughly 10 times the actual cost of care.

Key to this practice is something called “balance billing,” and it’s why the American Medical Association is strongly supporting Donald Trump’s pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicare. Balance billing is forbidden for Medicare enrollees, but Price wants to allow it — thus allowing doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors.

So what is balance billing? It’s the practice of billing the patient for the difference between the sticker price and what insurance will pay. So if a hospital visit costs $1,000, but your insurance will only cover $300, some providers will “balance bill” you for $700….

But allowing balance billing in Medicare is a straight-up evil policy. Republicans will attempt to camouflage it as allowing “free contracts” between patients and doctors or similar nonsense. Don’t believe a word of it, seniors. They want your retirement money.

Source: The Republican plot to devour retirees’ nest eggs

Will Mr. Trump actually back this idea of turning seniors over to the mercy of healthcare providers? I hear stories of the uninsured being billed several times more than the insurance companies pay. To allow people who can’t afford insurance to be gouged in this manner  seems out and out evil to me but that is what some of the folks in the GOP intend to do.

I’m sure they will take advantage of it with a Medicare change also. The Republicans like Mr. Ryan would love to completely eliminate Medicare but they realize that it would be a death sentence to maintaining their political office.

But as I said at the beginning of this post we really don’t know where Mr. Trump will come down on this issue or any other for that matter.  I mainly bring up this topic so that when seniors hear a term called “balanced billing” hidden inside the upcoming Medicare debates they will understand it really means gutting this protection for us and future seniors.  But that has been the agenda for the right wing of the GOP since Medicare’s inception fifty years ago. Unfortunately now could just be the time that they actually do it.


Space, The Final Frontier…

5star-banner  As a young boy in the 1960s I was always fascinated with space exploration. I stayed up all night in 1969 to watch Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. So while I was in Smithsonian in 20111 I took numerous pictures of the space shuttle.  This is perhaps my best one.

Smithsonian - Space Shuttle.jpg

Happy New Years – March 1

Snippet Banner    No I wasn’t out till the wee hours celebrating last night. As a matter of fact I was cozy in bed by my usual 11pm. So why I am confused that the  new year begins on March 1? That is because I just came across this snippet that in early Rome the new year was celebrated on that date and that kind of seems like a better idea to me.

I just don’t like the idea of starting a new year in the depth of winter with still several months to go.  It just doesn’t seem like a celebration to me.  I think the early Romans had it right.  Start it at the first flourishes of Spring when everything it coming back to life. Now that is a time to celebrate!!!

Since I can’t make this change on my own I guess here is hoping you have a very happy new year but to do that stay away from the insane politics that is sure to come…

New Years Resolutions??

I am not going to make out a numbered list of things I hope to accomplish in this new year as those lists seem to quickly get lost in the spin of life.  But there are some high level topics to be considered:


  • I need to resolve to not get upset about what happens in the political world this coming year and to especially ignore the everyday things from inside the beltway. My time at the back end of life is just too precious to get upset about all that garbage. I especially want to ignore as much as possible the insanity that is sure to ensue in the Oval Office.
  • I need to spend more time here at RJsCorner on creative things.  I don’t really know if you my readers are interested in that sort of thing but that seems to be where life wants to take me this year. I am thinking of dabbling in poetry and such. I have never done that but have always wanted to try my hand.  Maybe not so much poetry as verse. The early songs of Bob Dylan still ring in my now deaf ears and I kind of think I have some of those types of words  tangled up in my brain that need to come out.
  • I need to spend more time putting together picture galleries of my travels “In Search Of America”.  I have thousands of pictures that need to be in the ether of the blog world.  Maybe some day long after I am gone some high schooler will browse across them and find exactly what she needs to finish out her report on an historical event of past ages.  They need to be out there as part of my legacy to the future.  I sure do have a high opinion of myself don’t I??  🙂
  • For the same legacy purposes (ha) I need to spend more time blogging about my personal experiences in life and the lessons I learned from them. Someone might actually find them helpful in their travels. Who knows?


  • I vow to live each day as if it were my last.  Who know when that actual day will come.
  • I vow to not sweat the small stuff and its all small stuff as Richard Carlson says.
  • I vow to be a little more eccentric this year than last. It just makes life more interesting in my senior years.
  • Finally I vow to concentrate on being happy and stomping out depression before it grabs hold of me as it so often has in the past..

I wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Years.

Remember that the future is what happens while you are planning for something else. Don’t let it slip away…